Chapter 14 (part 1)
Ever since Fu Zheng's honest and sincere confession, Ning Wan had begun finding him more pleasing to the eye.
Her attitude toward him had done a complete 180.
The smile she gave him was brighter, and she was far more friendly and welcoming.
Alas, perhaps due to his financial worries, Fu Zheng didn't seem at all happy about the enormous shift in Ning Wan's affections.
It even seemed like ever since he had shown her himself at rock-bottom, he felt that he no longer needed to don his aloof, cold, dripping money persona.
Today there were dark circles under his eyes, a weary expression on his face, and he even seemed a little less handsome than normal.
It seemed as though he was finally resuming his normal form – a man burdened with generational debt.
Ning Wan remembered his arrogant, cold, noble expression back when she had first met him.
Poor Fu Zheng must have tried so hard to be brave.
He had never before tasted bitterness, and to save face he could only pretend to smile as hard as possible. How strangely pitiful…
Since she sympathized with him, Ning Wan took great care of Fu Zheng that day, making quick work of several trivial consultations.
Poor Fu Zheng was stuck having to stay with her tonight, and when she considered his masculine pride and how he not only had to face sexual harassment at work but was also older and less experienced than she…
How tragic! She pulled up her budget app and began making some tweaks.
Although she still had one day before she got her salary for the month, perhaps she could get Fu Zheng something a bit better to eat tonight?
However, that afternoon, Fu Zheng told her that he wouldn't need to stay over.
”My relative got in touch.
He's a pretty nice person and he said that he could put me up at his place not far from here. ”
Fu Zheng seemed sincere, and he once again expressed his gratitude to her.
Ning Wan felt relieved.
”That's great, please feel free to contact me at any time if you need help. ”
Now that Fu Zheng had somewhere to live, Ning Wan was glad for him and ceased paying attention to his affairs.
That afternoon, the litigant of a divorce case she had been given was finally returning home from her overseas vacation.
Since she had moved out of her former home, she was temporarily living in a hotel.
Ning Wan made an appointment with her after work at the five-star hotel where she was staying to confirm a few matters for the prosecution.
Though Ning Wan was full of verve and ambition that day, Fu Zheng found it incredibly difficult to make it through until 5.
Thank goodness he had managed to make up a distant relative in order to rid himself of the 'honour' of sleeping on the floor tonight.
Once he got off work, he headed straight to his five-star hotel to have a good nap someplace normal.
However, Gao Yuan had somehow heard that he and Ning Wan had made peace with each other, and no matter how many times Fu Zheng refused, he insisted on coming to the hotel for a good gossip.
”I'll be right there, wait for just ten minutes! I'll treat you to dinner! I know you're tired, so we won't go out, we can just go to that western restaurant in your hotel!
” On the other side of the phone, Gao Yuan's curiousity was raging out of control.
”You're not lying to me, are you? Ning Wan never changes her mind that easily.
Is it even possible for her to think well of you? ”
Fu Zheng was too lazy to pay attention to his questions.
He glanced at his watch.
If you're even one minute late, I'm going upstairs to bed. ”
He hung up, leaned on the hotel sofa, and closed his eyes.
As soon as Ning Wan got off work, she hurried to the five-star hotel where her client was staying.
She nearly missed the woman, who was all dolled up and just heading out to a nightclub.
It was precisely because of this flighty attitude that her husband had filed for divorce, but of course, that was none of Ning Wan's business.
She showed the lady the list of the common properties between the husband and wife, had it confirmed, and let her client go.
But just as she was about to leave as well, Ning Wan spotted an acquaintance–
Fu Zheng, who had just told her earlier this afternoon that he would be staying with a relative for the night, was sitting on the sofa in that same five-star hotel lobby.
He was dressed snappily in a suit, and his beautiful eyes were closed.
With his face at rest, he once again appeared aloof and arrogant, high above the mere mortals of the world.
If Ning Wan hadn't known the inside story, she really would have bought his act.
It's just that…
what on earth was Fu Zheng doing here?
Her mind full of questions, she was just about to go over and ask him what was going on when she saw Fu Zheng open his eyes.
He looked at his watch and pulled out his phone.
It seemed that he was sending someone a text.
The moment he put the phone away, her own phone buzzed–
It was a WeChat message under the name of Fu Zheng.
”Just arrived at my relatives' place.
Thanks again for taking care of me yesterday. ”
Ning Wan looked down at the message, then back up at Fu Zheng sitting not far from her, calm and at ease.
She was inwardly furious. What the hell was going on? Fu Zheng was clearly in a five-star hotel.
Why was he deceiving her?
The next moment, she realized the answer.
Gao Yuan had entered the lobby.
Gao Yuan had a simple, honest face, but now that she had heard Fu Zheng's tragic experience, Ning Wan could only see craftiness and treachery in his eyes.
Within his kind, ordinary smile, she had discovered a little bit of evil.
Sure enough, upon walking into the lobby Gao Yuan looked around and quickly fixed his gaze upon Fu Zheng on the sofa.
A lascivious smile spread over on his face, and he turned in Fu Zheng's direction.
Fu Zheng's expression upon seeing Gao Yuan approach was ugly, a little dissatisfied, and with just a touch of humiliation…
With such a scene playing out before her, even a fool like Ning Wan knew what Fu Zheng was doing here.
This was obviously Fu Zheng's own decision and none of her business.
It would be all too easy for her to just turn her back on the matter, but her inner sense of justice was as troublesome as always.
Before she realized what she was doing, Ning Wan had already flown out like the wind and snatched Fu Zheng's hand before Gao Yuan's eyes.
Panic and embarrassment from being caught flashed across Fu Zheng's face, while on Gao Yuan's was shock and helplessness from something good being snatched away…
Sure enough, I was right!
Ning Wan hauled Fu Zheng to his feet and stood her ground bravely against Gao Yuan.
”Partner Gao, there's overtime work to be done at the community office tonight.
I'm afraid I'll have to take Fu Zheng. ”
Then, disregarding Gao Yuan's look of bewilderment, she pulled Fu Zheng away from the sofa and out the hotel door.
Seeing that Gao Yuan wasn't attempting to come after them, Ning Wan breathed a sigh of relief.
She turned to Fu Zheng and accused fiercely, ”What were you thinking, Fu Zheng?! Why did you lie to me? ”
There were no words to describe the look on Fu Zheng's face.
Never in his life had he encountered such a train wreck of a situation.
To have the truth discovered by Ning Wan on only the second day of his disguise! Just fantastic. If he knew Ning Wan, this would make her hate him even more than ever.
He had slept on the floor last night for no reason…
Just as he opened his mouth to say something, Ning Wan continued–
”Fu Zheng, what don't you understand about 'when we are in poverty we cannot be swayed, and when wealthy we must not be tempted'1? Yes, it's difficult to struggle alone with neither background nor money, but that's what being honorable and righteous is all about! How could you go astray and even consider succumbing to evil? ”
Fu Zheng blinked.
Ning Wan had lost him somewhere.
He closed his mouth and listened to Ning Wan criticize him, apparently hating iron for not being steel–
”Yes, you're a man, and you wouldn't be in any danger of becoming pregnant even if you sleep with Gao Yuan until you die of hemorrhoids, but this is a matter of dignity! How could you bow down to his abuse of power? It's true that taking shortcuts will allow you to quickly be rid of your current life, but as they say, 'while you're alive, you must fight for breath'! Otherwise, even if in the future you manage to grasp success, there will always be those who say behind your back that you did so by selling yourself! ”
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